What’s *not* launching at CES … the iWatch
It’s not Apple’s style, nor is it ready yet – if Apple is planning to get into the wearable technology market and gearing up to launch an iWatch, then it will do so either in the early spring (mid-February) or wait until May 2014.
If you’d like to wager against this, I’ll happily take your money: Apple has a long tradition of not exhibiting at industry trade shows and it would be completely against its nature to try and launch at a noisy, public event such as CES.
Technology that will also be missing at CES among mainstream mobile device vendors is wireless charging, both for smartphones and wristbands. The technology just isn’t mature or reliable enough yet and although wireless charging modules are widely available in China for popular smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S4, they are simply frustrating to use, if they work at all …
At CES, Nokia might launch a smartwatch that’s recharged by kinetic energy. This would be a major step forward for the technology, but since Nokia is in cahoots with Microsoft, you can expect compatibility with Windows Mobile … and nothing else. Therefore, expect to categorize this alongside the 40-megapixel Nokia camera on a smartphone: Nice idea, but the majority of users are not ready to abandon Android / Apple iOS.
Assuming that Nokia launches anything at CES, and you’re looking for some cheap entertainment, look out for quotes from Nokia executives explaining how WinMo is the “next leading mobile platform”, yadda yadda. According to analyst firm IDC, Windows Mobile had a fantastic third calendar quarter of 2013, accounting for 10 percent of mobile devices shipped – but that’s the point: only 10 percent, while Android devices accounted for 81 percent. As has been the case with Nokia for a couple of years now, the mass market reaction will be: Nice hardware, shame I can’t run my Android apps.
Now this is maybe where Korean firm LG steps in – the rumor mill says the “G Arch” is possibly going to appear at CES in Vegas, or at least at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, in late February. Tom’s Hardware Guide speculates that LG will follow Sony’s approach with its Smart Watch and make it accessible to Android devices from any vendor, instead of Samsung’s policy of restricting compatibility to Galaxy phones.
Watch this space: It’s 24-plus hours away still but 2014 is already shaping up to be the year of #wearabletech.